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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

THE HISTORICAL KBXSHHA.                                                    51
Possibly be may have been a Jaini? for the antiquity of that religion111 is now
thoroughly established ; it has even been conjectured that Buddha himself was a
disciple of Mahavira, the last of the Jaini Tirthaiikaras.f Or the straggle may
have been between the votaries of Siva and Vishnu; in which case Krishna, the
apostle of the latter faction, would find a natural enemy in the King of Kash-
mir, a country where Saivism has always predominated. On this hypothesis,
Kama was the conservative monarch, and Krishna the innovator: a position
which has been inverted by the poets, influenced by the political events of their
own times.
To avenge the death of his son-in-law, Jarasandlia marched an army against
Mathnra, and was supported by the powerful king of some western country,
who is thence'styled Kala-Yavana: for Yavanain Sanskrit, while It corresponds
originally to the Arabic yiindn, (Ionia) denotes secondarily—like Viidyat in the
modern vernacular—any foreign, and specially any western, country. The
actual personage was probably the King of Kashmir, Gonanda I., who Is
known to have accompanied Jarasandha; though the description would be
more applicable to one of the Bactrian sovereigns of the Panjab. It is true they
had not penetrated Into India till some hundreds of years after Krishna; but
their power was well established at the time when the Mahabharat was written
to record his achievements: hence the anachronism. Similarly, In the Bbagavat
Parana, which was written after the Muhammadan invasion, the description
of the Yavana king is largely coloured by the author's feelings towards the
only western power with which he was acquainted. Originally, as above
stated, the .word denoted the Greeks, and the Greeks ouly.f But the Greeks
were the foremost, the most dreaded of all the Mlechhas (*. e., Barbarians) and
thus Yavana came to be applied to the most prominent Mleeuha power for the
time being, whatever it might happen to be. When the Muhammadans trod In
the steps of the Greeks, they became the chief Mlechhas, and they also" were
consequently styled Yavouas*
* The oldest Jain inscription that has as yet been discovered is one from the bill Indra-
giri at Srivana Belgoia in the South of India. It records an emigration of Jamis from Ujayin
trader the leadership of Svvinri Bhadra Balm, accounted the last of the Srata Kevalis. who was
accompanied by Chandragupta, King of Pataliputra. As the inscription gives a list of Bhadra
Bafaa's successors, it is clearly not contemporary with the events which it records; but it may
be inferred from the archaic form of the letters that It dates from ihe third century B. C.
f More recent research, however, has revealed the fact that the Gotama Swam!, who wa»
Mahavira'* pupil, was not a Kshatriya by caste, as was Sakya Muni, the Buddha, but a Brahman
of the well-known Gautama family, vhose personal name was Iiidra-bhuti.
t ThU, howerer, is stoutly denied by Dr. Kajmdra Lai Mittra.   See ins